William Shockley (born September 17, 1963) is an actor and musician. Shockley was born in Lawrence, Kansas. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in political science. Shockley has appeared in many movies and TV shows including Welcome to Paradise, In Justice, Showgirls, The Joyriders, and most notably Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in which he played Hank Lawson. He also appeared in the 2007 film Treasure Raiders.
Mike Smith: You led a rather nomadic lifestyle as a young man. Did that experience help prepare you for the different roles you’ve played as an actor?
William Shockley: Moving around all the time during my childhood actually proved to be a huge plus. I can pretty much travel anywhere and feel comfortable with my surroundings. I was forced to learn how to acclimate and get along with strangers. I’m sure that living in different parts of America and living abroad in Europe gave me insight and perspectives that I have woven into various characters.
MS: You’ve done a lot of episodic television, most notably “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman.” Is there a comfort as an actor when you’re adding to the same character each week as opposed to a one-shot film character?
WS: Being a series regular on a television show like “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was a true gift. I loved the privilege of developing a character over a 6-year run. I became very attached to the role of “Hank Lawson”. He was a complex character… lots of layers, which is wonderful. He was one guy on the surface, and a totally different person in his heart. The great writing on “Dr. Quinn” was a huge bonus. I’ve done many films as well, and I seem to always want to do a sequel to a film when I have a character that I connect with and enjoy portraying. I feel this way about “Born Wild”, a film coming out this summer, where I co-star with Barry Corbin, Kix Brooks (of “Brooks & Dunn”), Tanya Clarke, Joe Lando and Justin Deeley. The role in “Born Wild” is “CJ Jennings”… a guy with a wayward, troubled past, who goes back home to reconcile his future. “CJ” has so many issues and so much baggage, yet at the end of the day, he finds redemption. I also got to reunite with Joe Lando, from “Dr. Quinn”, on this film. Joe is a dear friend and it was great to be back on a set with him.
MS: You’re upcoming film, “Reaper,” teams you up with “Starship Troopers'” Jake Busey. Did the two of you get to trade any Paul Verhoeven stories?
WS: I actually didn’t have any scenes with Jake. I worked with Danny Trejo and Vinnie Jones, both great actors and a lot of fun to be around.
MS: In the almost 20 years since it’s release, “Showgirls” has blossomed into a cult hit, with midnight showings ala “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Did you have any idea when you were making the film that it would still resonate all of these years later?
WS: I don’t ever have a preconceived idea of how a film will resonate with the audience. As an actor, all I can do is prepare to the best of my ability, show up on the set, and deliver the goods. The rest is up to the director and producers and other actors in the film. You can only control yourself in this type of setting, and then, anticipate the best.
MS: What do you have coming up next?
WS: I actually have several films coming out in 2014. “Ambush at Dark Canyon”, a western that Team Two Entertainment produced (my production company) starring Kix Brooks and Ernie Hudson, was released January 14 and is available on DVD at Walmart. This summer I’m in two films, “Born Wild” and “Dug Up”, a redneck-stoner-zombie-comedy. Later in the year “Reaper” will come out, followed by “Finding Harmony” with Billy Zane and Allison Eastwood, and a western, “Hot Bath ‘An A Stiff Drink”, with Ronnie Blevins and Grainger Hines. My partners in Team Two Entertainment are Kix Brooks, Dustin Rikert and Eric Brooks. We have a big announcement being made this Spring. There’s a really awesome deal being set up that I’m very excited about. Stay tuned for those details.
12 Replies to “William Shockley reflects on roles in “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman” and “Showgirls””
William Shockley is an amazing actor! I have enjoyed all of his work, but the way that he developed the character of Hank Lawson, on Dr. Quinn, made me a true fan. He took what was superficially the “bad guy” on the series to a more multi-layered character than any other on the show, and this show had a fantastic cast and writers. “Hank” will forever be my favorite character on any TV show, past, present or future!
He is such a talented, beautiful actor. I enjoy his movies so much. Dr Quinn was such an amazing show and he added so much more to it! I look forward to his future works.
I’m so happy to see William Shockley finally getting some press for his hard work and amazing talent. He got my attention as Hank in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, bringing his character to life with so many interesting facets and dimensions, and now I am delighted to be able to follow his career and enjoy his performances in the many other projects he has mentioned.
I’ve been following Will ever since I saw SHOWGIRLS, & have seen everything I could buy, rent, or catch on TV, including Dr. Quinn. WELCOME TO PARADISE is a real favorite of his, he plays the high school Basketball coach. I also like A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS, which just came out recently. He sings, too! Another good film of his was MADISON. This man is a great guy, & talented as well….nice combination. I’m glad he’s been so successful, & anxious to get my copy of the upcoming BORN BAD! Bravo, Will Shockley!!!
William Shockley is wonderful! He is not only very handsome but he is also very, very talented!
I love his performance as Hank Lawson in Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and I think that he should have won an Emmy and Golden Globe for that performance because he was excellent! Hank Lawson is a very complex character and you can see both the bad and the good things that he has at the same time and that’s because of William’s excellent performance.
He is a very hard, working talented man and I can’t wait to see his future works!
Hank Lawson is my favorite character not only from Dr. Quinn but of all tv shows of history of television!
Very nice article. It’s great to hear about William Shockley’s past and current projects. He is a truly talented actor. I have been following him since he was on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. I enjoyed watching him in his latest movie A Country Christmas and look forward to all of his future projects.
To this day Hank is still one of my favorite characters on Dr. Quinn and I love his movies. Wiliam you are terrific!
I too love William as an actor and Hank is my alltime favorite character.
He’s everything in one package. Love love love WS. And that hair…..oh my…..
I forgot to mention…..he’s made me LAUGH so much on Dr. Quinn. His humor brought such a spin to it, (aka Hans lol) he cracked me up so many times……and incredibly gorgeous, the voice, eyes, and reading about him he sounds like a very gracious human being. William the man inside; not just the actor. A sweetheart, loving & caring. I can just imagine his off camera humor. Mr. Shockley, you are intriguing!!
I have seen Dr. Quinn many times and william too.I saw a old movie of william playing a great part .I did not remember his face but his voice I remembered.I came to the internet to find out who he is.What a wounderful actor he is.need to have more great actors like this man
He played the white trash bigot very well on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.